During the Senate Committee Meeting on Higher Education last Monday chaired by Senator Joel Villanueva.

Second District Representative Cyrille “Beng” F. Abueg-Zaldivar has secured Senate approval for House Bill 6975, which seeks to legalize the Palawan State University-College of Community Resource Development (PSU-CCRD).

She said that through the years, there has been a steady increase in the student population and operation costs of the CCRDs.

She said that this has become a challenge for both the LGUs and students as it would increase funding requirements. Thus, LGUs in recent years have been trying to scale down their support or to withdraw the assistance, while the parents, the majority of whom come from depressed areas and low-income households, are clamoring for lower school fees.

Emphasizing the importance of this landmark legislation, Abueg-Zaldivar said “with the pandemic we are facing, it truly has been a challenge for our constituents in Palawan to continue sending their children to school. Many of them have been greatly affected by the socioeconomic crises we are experiencing – losing their jobs and livelihood – and are now left with little, less, or no income at all.“

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Second District Representative Cyrille “Beng” F. Abueg-Zaldivar

Once passed into law, this measure will grant legal status to the PSU-CCRD External Campuses, granting them additional administrative and financial support, as they will now be included in the annual General Appropriations Act of the National Government.

“This legislative measure is now one step closer to becoming a ratified law. “Once this bill is passed, and the various PSU-CCRDs have been granted legal status, the budgetary constraints faced by the institution will be addressed,” said Abueg-Zaldivar.

Abueg-Zaldivar, as a principal author and sponsor of House Bill No. 5885, later substituted by H.B. No. 6975, has defended the measure and earned the approval of the Senate Committees on Higher, Technical, and Vocational Education and Finance chaired by Senator Joel Villanueva.

According to her, the measure was co-authored by Rep. Mark Go and Eric Yap being respective Chairmen of the House Committees on Higher and Technical Education, and Appropriations, seeks to strengthen PSU-Local Government Unit – College of Community Resource Development (PSU-LGU-CCRD) campuses all over the province of Palawan.

She said that former Deputy Speaker Frederick Abueg originally filed this bill in the 16th and 17th Congresses, with both bills approved in the House of Representatives, but remained pending in the Senate.

After the approval of the bill in the House of Representatives, PSU President Dr. Ramon Docto recommended the inclusion of additional campuses.

This addendum was brought up by Abueg-Zaldivar during the Senate Committee hearing through a motion and was approved by the Committee.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.